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SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25 Normandy
Nate_W
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Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2012
KitMaker: 277 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 06:17 PM UTC
Hello!

Ever since I began learning about D-Day at age 12 back in '99, I was fascinated by the German units struggling against the Allied behemoth invasion force. As an American kid from the midwest, there was no shortage of WW2 veterans of the European Theater. The first stories I heard were from my Grandfather (Ball Turret Gunner, B-17G, 8th Air FOrce, 486th Bomb Group, 834th Bomb Squadron.)I consider myself so lucky to have heard these incredible stories by the men who lived them over many breakfasts, lunches, golf games, etc. These men were giants in my eyes and always will be. I had learned about the RAF, Desert Rats, S.A.S. and Red Devils but had heard very little about the Canadians. This lead to me reading up on their role on D-Day and I was fascinated by the battles within the small triangle of Bretteville-l’Orgueilleusee Putot-en-Bessin and Norrey-en-Bessin. The Regina Rifles Regiment Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and elements of the 6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars), 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade were the specific units that I read up on. By June 8th these units had reached the areas outside of Caen and found themselves fighting within the triangle made up by these villages. These units found themselves up against the !2th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend", specifically, the 1st and 2nd battalion of SS Panzer Regiment 12 and Panzergrenadier Regiments 25 and 26. I stumbled upon Ron Volstad's amazing artwork from Dragon's #6110 figure kit of panzergrenadiers from the 25th. I had found my subject for a diorama and this would be the first diorama since returning to the hobby after a 5 year break during college.

There are famous photos of the 15th Kompanie (recon) of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25, most of which were taken just after the failed assault on Norrey-en-Bessin on June 9th. My original plan was to focus the diorama on the action of the Panthers of 3rd Kompanie SS Panzer Regiment 12 with the accompanying infantry of 15th kompanie SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 25, however, after reviewing the diary entries of Alois Marwetz who was commanding in place of Von Ribbentropp that day, as well as Max Wunche's account, I didn't think this action was very ideal for a diorama like this. The summary is basically this, (warning super summary, nobody get triggered), Essentially, After leaving Rots on a southern road, the 3rd kompanie passed beneath the rail embankment via an underpass and turned right facing west towards Norrey. They planned to use the embankment on their right (North) as cover to move towards Norrey and speed was stressed as the highest priority by Wunsche. The Panthers quickly left most of the infantry in the dust and began to take accurate 6 pounder fire as they passed the linesman's cottage and crested the hill. They had planned on this, angeling appropriately and keeping their speed up, but they hadn't counted on was a squad of Sherman's including a number of fireflies who had, by chance, taken a detour on their way to their defensive position, placing them a couple hundred meters away at the Panthers 2 to 3 O'clock. The fire from the 6 pounders and machine guns in Norrey was hard enough but with the Shermans in perfect ambush position, the 3rd Kompanie's Panthers began to brew up with horrifically burned crew members hurling themselves out of their machines anyway they could. It was about this time that the accompanying infantry of 15/25 showed up behind the Panthers to support them when it was became apparent things had gone horribly wrong. As the attack began to fail, the naval artillery from Allied ships off-shore began to fall amongst the length of the rail embankment. A retreat was ordered and a few of the 12 original Panthers were able to fall back and the wounded crewmen and panzergrenadiers crawled along the embankment back towards the cover of the underpass and the road back to Rots. It was just after this disaster that the famous photos were taken.

It was my intent to focus on this engagement until I read the diary entries and studied up. I have now decided to not base my build on any one particular entry and simply build a scene of panzergrenadiers and a Panther during the early stages of the Caen battle, inspired by the actions of SS Pz.Reg 12 and 15th kompanie SS Panzergrenadier regiment 25.

If anyone has any pics of the 12th SS in Normandy that aren't viewable with a quick google search, or any info on the battle of Norrey on June 9th, I'd love to check it out.



I've always loved the German uniforms, gear an equipment of 1943-45. I particularly fond of the camouflage garments and equipment used in Normandy. I've always maintained that the Zeltbahn was the most widely issued camouflage garment yet there aren't a lot of figure kits with them and even less that are in action poses. For this reason, I knew I'd have to modify existing figures.

My first figure I made by taking a loader from the HobbyFan '8.8cm Flak 18 Crew' and removing his tall ankle boots and replaced them with milliput, ankle gaiters, and low cut boots of the late war type. I love the look of them. I then used the arms from a figure in Dragon's #6057 'Panzergrenadiers East Prussia' and fusing them to the hobbyfan figure, filling in any gaps in the legs and arms using Vallejo's awesome Plastic Putty. From here I purchased ABER's incredible German Soldier`s Gear WWII #35A35. I needed the Y-Straps from this kit for many of the grenadiers I'll be making. There's a ton of useful stuff in here and it's already paid for itself and I'd recommend it to everyone who makes German figs.



Maps of the Area of interest.




Half of the "Triangle" of villages showing the German's starting point In Rots and Villeneuve and the Canadian Positions West in Norrey-en-Bessin and Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse and Putot-en-Bessin which is beyond the left (west) border of the image. This image includes my approximations of the positions based on the diary entries and research available to me.



The infamous underpass underneath the Caen-Bayeux railroad. It was here that the 3rd Kompanie of Panthers and infantry from 15/25 turned right after passing beneath to begin the attack. We are facing north in the picture so they would have traveled south towards us, and turned to our left after passing under the railroad.









Panzergrenadier MG-42 gunner based on Gunter Hamel. I used Alpine Miniatures figure from the 'Waffen SS Panther Crew Kursk' set and used arms from a left over Dragon set and added field gear and straps using the ABER set. THe MG-42 is by Master Models, however, a disaster occured and damaged the barrel shroud. Th barrel shroud is a vinyl that's flexible but extremely brittle after glue is applied!! The thin section of the barrel shroud vent hole broke. I have contacted Master and they have sent me a new one free of charge. Awesome customer service.











My favorite Grenadier I've made thus far. He wears a Zeltbahn camouflage shelter quarter under his Y straps and gear and was made using pieces of Hobby Fan and Dragon figures as well as a good deal of putty and sanding. I love zeltbahns and given that it was issued to nearly every German soldier, I wish we had more figs with them but specifically wearing them in action or with the gear over it. I can imagine that the detail of the flaps would be tricky from a manufacturers perspective. I've also been vocal about my appreciation for companies that produce action posed figures that aren't over exerted and exaggerated in their poses and simulated movement. I think that those types of action poses are great for cartoons and toys but I've always shot for something more...grounded and realistic.I wanted to make sure and not "over-animate" my figures and create a scene that becomes unintentionally funny in all the wrong ways..yikes. I'm really happy with this result, It reminds me of the type of apex movement i see in photographs of football players, soldiers and athletes.











This is the NCO figure from Dragon’s # 6282 ‘Hohenstaufen Division Normandy 1944’. With just a few tweaks the figure takes on a whole new feel. I do a lot of shooting here in the U.S. in 3-Gun matches and just plinking on my farm. I have the luxury and privilege to have handled and fired most WW2 US, British and German small arms. It’s been great to get a feel for period correct weapon handling and I try to bring my experience with the ergonomics and handling to my figures. I’ve tweaked this figure to replicate how I found myself reloading the MP-38 I’ve shot.
.

Panzergrenadier NCO of 15/25, loosly based on Joseph "Sepp" Bund.
The figure is from D-Day Miniature Studios #35084 ‘Herman Goring Division Soldiers 1943-45. With some tiny micro tweaks the figure is absolutely stunning in crispness and quality and perfect for a Waffen SS Panzergrenadier in Normandy or Arnhem.

For those interested, here is the available roster of names of 15/25 that I found on in post on axishistory of the subject.


STAB

Chef: Haupsturmführer Horst von Büttner
Spiess: Stabsscharführer Hagetorn
San.-Uscha.: Unterscharführer Emil Waldvogel


I.ZUG

Untersturmführer Reinhold Fuss
Unterscharführer Flixeder
Grenadier Werner Zimmermann
Hans Derkogner
Wittich
Ziermann


II.ZUG

Untersturmführer Fehling
Sturmmann Jan Jesionek
van der Berg


III.ZUG

Hauptscharführer Wilhelm Boigk
Unterscharführer Christian Wachter
Unterscharführer Wick
Unterscharführer Peter Koslowski
Sturmmann Klaus Schuh
Obergrenadier Karl-Heinz Marckert
Obergrenadier Guenther Streelow
Obergrenadier Georg Hermann
Grenadier Josef Bund
Grenadier Foerster
Grenadier Otto Funk
Grenadier Günther Hamel
Grenadier Ernst Molter
Grenadier Reinhard Strintz
Grenadier Günther Weiss
Heinz Gurk
Günther Lachmann
Konrad Langner
Werner Kaergel


UNKNOWN UNIT

Sturmmann Jochen Leykauff
Obergrenadier Karl Witzgall
Grenadier Alfred Helzel
Kaufmann
Wolter

FROM THE VERMISSTBILDLISTE

Sturmmann Rudolf Johanning
Sturmmann Heinz Merschkötter
Obergrenadier Albert Pahl
Obergrenadier Manfred Sass
Grenadier Heinz Schulze

UNKNOWN, NEED CONFIRMATION

The first group is listed as killed in action on 4.7.1944 near St.German; the second group is listed as killed on 8.6.1944 in/near Bretteville-L'Orgueillose.

Unterscharführer Richard Schwarz
Sturmmann Hermann Menkhoff
Sturmmann Josef Hermann Richenzhagen
Sturmmann Hilmar Zimmermann
Grenadier Karl Heilemann


Rottenführer Theodor Emge
Sturmmann Gebhard Ziegler
Grenadier Werner Lichtenstein
Grenadier Friedrich Pelzl


DESERTER

Friedrich Torbanisch (deserted on April 1944)





I'm very excited to keep working on the figures and I'm getting close to painting. I'm very nervous about painting figures that I've worked so hard on. Historically, figure painting is my biggest weakness. I'm going to be using a combination of mostly vallejo acrylics, some model master enamels and some oil paints. I'll be using Mr. Mahogany Surfacer 1000 to priming.

I welcome any constructiver feedback and comments.

Thanks!
cheyenne
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 05, 2005
KitMaker: 1,882 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 10:31 PM UTC
Dam son , beautiful narrative and figure morphing !!!
Crisp detailed work and the poses are remarkable , extra kudos on the guy reloading his mp !!!
You're going to have to quit your day job and work exclusively on models so I can see more of your work !!
dhines
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Joined: November 17, 2015
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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:36 PM UTC
Hi Nathan, awesome historical presentation that sets the stage for the dio. Great figure construction, I cant wait to see them finished. I will be watching with much interest as it comes together. Keep up the great work. Best regards......Dale
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:48 PM UTC
Great Back story there Nathan and it looks as if you are off to a good start. God luck
Bravo36
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Arizona, United States
Joined: January 11, 2002
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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 01:27 AM UTC
Great work on those figures! Love the straps on the weapons. The one on the MG42 is beautiful.
Please keep us posted on your progress.
jrutman
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Joined: April 10, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 01:30 AM UTC
Gret beginnings with the research. It always pays to do that as much as possible.
Nice job with the figure mods and detailing. The Aber set looks good. I have also had good results from the Alliance set. I continue to find new uses for that one.
I like your fig with the zeltbahn and I agree you don't see enough figs using that item. I do wonder why here though? It wasn't raining during that battle and the guys already had cammo uniforms?
Another very good resource for this battle are any of the Heimdahl books covering it in extensive detail,or Kurt Meyers' book "Grenadier".
Welcome back to modeling and to my favorite topic.
J
americanpanzer
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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 02:26 AM UTC
WOW!! Just….wow!! looking forward to seeing more of your work!
timcc2008
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 01:09 AM UTC
Amazing work so far. I will be following this one.

vr

Tim
strongarden
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Florida, United States
Joined: May 14, 2012
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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 07:59 AM UTC
I love it Nate! Awesome back story, narrative, and I'm hooked already!

Definitely impressive that although you aren't completely satisfied w/ your level of figure painting, you've chosen a subject (SS Camo)
that is well considered quite a challenge and still jumping right in, especially after all the excellent assembly work you've put in.

I'm looking frwd to seeing how this progresses

Cheers
Dave